This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Advanced Medical Support Assistant

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:528-13-AQ885585-SPW

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$35,769.00 to $46,497.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, May 01, 2013 to Friday, May 10, 2013




Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent


1 vacancy in the following location:
Buffalo, NY United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 885585  


WHO MAY APPLY:   United States Citizens

Our Mission:  To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs employees who possess the energy, compassion, and commitment to serve those who serve our country. Whatever the job title, every position in VA will give you a chance to make a meaningful and personal contribution to the lives of truly special and deserving people - our Veterans. Working for VA is one of the most emotionally satisfying and professionally rewarding ways to dedicate the best within you to your Country's service.

If you are transitioning from the military or a Veteran already, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at the VA. The VA is committed to hiring Veterans.

The VA is much more than just another employer. It is an honorable, open and welcoming community of those who care. Gratitude is our motivation and service is our mission.

The VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department. The five Core Values define "who we are," our culture, and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries. The Values are Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence ("I CARE").

America's Veterans need you!

To find out more, go to

These vacancies are advertised at the single grade at which this position will be filled above the full performance level. 

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.

NOTE:  The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the step at which the candidate will be placed in that specific grade.  The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job.
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • English Language Proficiency required
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination
  • Designated and/or random drug testing required


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This position is located at the VA Western NY Healthcare System, Buffalo, NY. Duty assignment will be a primary care clinic. The Advanced Medical Support Assistant is a multifunctional, empowered staff member who provides a full range of support to all members of the treatment team.  The Advanced MSA works collaboratively in an interdisciplinary coordinated care delivery model (i.e., patient aligned care team, or other specialty care setting where the patient aligned care team model is used such as oncology, HIV, SCI, Military Sexual Trauma, etc.). The Advanced MSA coordinates with the patient care team to review the clinic utilization by using various reports (e.g., Clinic Utilization Statistical Summary), ensure that the clinic setup is closely monitored to effectively support the needs of the clinic, and make any necessary adjustments. They develop/maintain effective and efficient communication with the patient, interdisciplinary team, VA medical centers, and other agencies (e.g., assist with communications during the inpatient to outpatient discharge; communicate with non-VA medical facilities; facilitate/process secure messaging with the patient and team; notify patients of normal lab results; develop and manage a tracking system for follow up care such as consults, tests, etc.). Other assignments at this level include, but are not limited to: participating in team huddles and team meetings to manage and plan patient care; setting priorities and deadlines, adjusting the flow and sequencing of the work to meet team and patient needs; may work with the team to reinforce the plan of care and self-help solutions and entering appropriate information into the electronic record; monitoring pre-appointment requirements to assure readiness for patient visit/procedure (e.g., X-ray, lab work); managing electronic wait list to verify and validate accuracy and resolve issues; participating and providing input in problem solving on operational issues or procedures in team meetings, performing administrative follow up actions; participating in and independently following up on team huddles by sharing information and collaborating with the medical team to assure continuity of care; evaluating patient information and clinic schedule lists to determine whether patient is vested; educating providers about shared patients (those who receive their care at multiple VAs or those who have care in the community) and bringing to the attention of the provider.

Tour of Duty: Full-time; Variable day tour to include expanded evening and weekend clinic hours; subject to change based on agency needs. 




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  • U.S. citizenship.  
  • Six months experience of clerical , office or other work that indicates the ability to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position OR
  • Education:  One year above high school level or OR
  • Equivalent combination of experience and education

In addition to the basic requirements, you must meet the following qualifications:

GS-6 : You must have one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-5 level. This experience must be close to the work of this job and has given you the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of Medical Support Assistant. Specialized experience may have been gained independently performing clerical duties in a healthcare setting including scheduling, canceling, re-scheduling patient's appointments and/or consults; entering no-show information; monitoring the electronic wait list; preparing for clinic visits; monitoring both inpatient and outpatient appointments for areas of responsibility; ensuring encounter forms are completed in order to obtain appropriate workload credit; verifying and updating demographics and insurance information; processing all emergency and non-emergency transfers to other VA facilities or private hospitals; performing basic eligibility, co-pays and preauthorization requirements for specific coverage (i.e., TRICARE, sharing agreements, etc.).

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSA's): 

  • Ability to collaborate, communicate, set priorities, and organize the work in order to meet deadlines, ensuring compliance with established processes, policies, and regulations.
  • Ability to communicate tactfully and effectively, both orally and in writing, in order to meet program objectives. This may include preparing reports in various formats and presenting data to various organizational levels.
  • Advanced knowledge of the technical health care process as it relates to access to care.
  • Advanced knowledge of managing a clinic. This includes independently utilizing reference sources, decision making, and empowering the team to collaborate and resolve problems within a complex systems environment.
  • Advanced knowledge of policies and procedures associated with operational activities that affect the patient flow, patient care, and the revenue process.

  • Advanced knowledge of medical terminology due to the technical nature of language utilized by clinicians.


References:  VA Handbook 5005 at (also available in the local Human Resources Office) and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Clerical and Administrative Support Positions at .

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  A pre employment physical will be conducted based on the following physical requirements: Moderate lifting 15-44 pounds, moderate carrying 15-44 pounds, reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, both hands required, walking 3 hours, standing 4 hours, kneeling 1 hour, repeated bending 1 hour, climbing - legs only 1 hour, climbing - use of legs and arms, ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously, near vision correctable at 13" to 16" to Jaeger 1 to 4, both eyes required, ability to distinguish basic colors, ability to hear whisper voice, emotional and mental stability.

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:  Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.  If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

Veterans' Preference:

When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference.  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit


Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.   You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.
To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the right side of this screen to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. 

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave:  Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee.   VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service.  This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

Interviews:  Any interviews that may be conducted for this position will use the Performance Based Interviewing (PBI) process.   Further information is available at

Probation:  Position is subject to one (1) year Probationary period.


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All applicants are encourged to apply online.

To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, May 10, 2013 to receive consideration.


1.    To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.


2.    Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.


It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. 


To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application.  Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement.  You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.


You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1.     All applicants are required to submit the following supporting document type(s):
   ·Other (VA Form 10-2850c)

Applicants may also submit the following supporting document type(s),which may not be required for all applicants:
   ·Cover Letter
   ·Other Veterans Document

2.     VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at ) (required).

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

You are encouraged to apply online.  Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE:  If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

1.    To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information.  The Vacancy ID is      885585.

2.    Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials.  The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, May 10, 2013 to receive consideration.  Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

1.    Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire     View Occupational Questionnaire.

2.    Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items 

3.    Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144.  Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.

service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must also complete and submit an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (available at ).  


Shavone Watkins
Phone: (716)862-7963
Agency Information:
VHA Western New York HCS Buffalo
Healthcare System
Buffalo, NY


After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the basic requirements.  You will be notified when this decision is made.

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